The name Sardine came from the canning of small fish in Sardinia. In the culinary world “Sardine” does not refer to a specific species but rather to a number of species of the Herring family. In general, small Herring are called Sardines. According to the FAO/WHO Codex of standards for canned Sardines there are 22 species which can be called Sardine. FishBase lists over 30 species worldwide which are called Sardine. In the US there are two primary species: the Atlantic Sardine Sardina pilchardus(European Pilchard) and the Pacific Sardine Sardinops sagax.
Sardines can grow to about 1.3 feet long, but typical sizes are less than 9 inches. Anchovies are similar to sardines but are usually smaller and have an upper jaw which protrudes farther than the lower jaw, while on sardines the lower jaw protrudes.
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